Thursday, June 23, 2016

Skywatch Friday 153



Taken Monday evening, June 20



LINKING TO: Skywatch Friday





Monday, June 20, 2016

Teaser Tuesday 317: It Takes a Witch

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by Jenn of Books and a Beat. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

* Grab your current book or recent read.
* Share a few "teaser" sentences from somewhere in the book.
* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away. You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
* Share the title and author so that other participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teaser!



This week’s teaser comes from It Takes a Witch by Heather Blake, the first book in her Wishcraft series.


Abruptly, she sat upright, looked me straight in the eyes, and started screaming at the top of her lungs. Long, shrieking cries that hurt my ears.

(Chapter One)











ABOUT THE BOOK:
Series: Wishcraft #1

Darcy Merriweather and her sister, Harper, hail from a long line of witches who have the power to grant wishes using spells. They’ve come to Enchanted Village in Salem, Massachusetts, to join the family business, but they soon find themselves knee-deep in murder . . .

Until three weeks ago, Darcy and Harper were working dead-end jobs and trying to put their troubles behind them. Then their aunt Velma delivered a bombshell: They’re actually Wishcrafters—witches with the power to grant wishes with a mere spell. Wanting a fresh start, they head to their aunt’s magic-themed tourist town to master their newfound skills.

but their magic fails them when a wannabe witch turns up dead—strangled with Aunt Ve’s scarf—and Aunt Ve’s sweetheart, Sylar, is found looming over the body. Ve is standing by her man, but Darcy overheard Sylar wish that the victim would disappear—forever. With Harper distracted by her handsome new crush, Darcy is determined to sleuth her way to the truth. But it’ll take more than a wish to unravel this mystery . . .






Random Photo: Wild Chicory








Sunday, June 19, 2016

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Skywatch Friday 152















Sunset, Sunday, June 12, 2016



LINKING TO: Skywatch Friday





Thursday Thirteen 419: An Evening Walk at Grady Tract

After the events that unfolded last Sunday, I felt the need for a long walk, so took myself up to Grady Tract, a section of the UW Arboretum, in the evening. No deer or hawks this visit, but there was plenty in bloom, or on the verge of blooming. Amazing how restorative nature can be, isn't it?



Crown Vetch


Tall Beardtongue, a type of Penstemon 


Daisy Fleabane




Common Yarrow


Spiderwort




Puccoons


The path across Grady Knoll, bordered by puccoons 




Cinquefoil


Phlox






LINKING TO: Thursday Thirteen




Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Wordless Wednesday 221: Pink Garden



Seen on one of my walks . . .





LINKING TO:

Wordless Wednesday





Monday, June 13, 2016

Teaser Tuesday 316: Last Dance

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by Jenn of Books and a Beat. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

* Grab your current book or recent read.
* Share a few "teaser" sentences from somewhere in the book.
* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away. You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
* Share the title and author so that other participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teaser!



In early May, I was catching up on a couple favorite blogs when I saw the news that writer Jim Lavene had passed, a mere seven months after his wife, Joyce had died. Feeling a bit nostalgic, I pulled one of their older books from Mount TBR, Last Dance, which is book one in their Sharyn Howard series. I suspect it may be more difficult to fill in the gaps in this series for some time to come.


An owl hooted from somewhere in the cemetery, and the rain started falling a little harder. Not a good sign, she supposed, but maybe a sign of things to come.

(Chapter Three)










ABOUT THE BOOK:
Sharyn Howard #1

When the local prom queen is found murdered in the high school parking lot, Sheriff Sharyn Howard gets double shock. The crime scene, complete with the victim laid out in pristine fashion, is eerily similar to another prom-night murder that occurred ten years before. Sharyn’s father was sheriff at the time and caught the perp, who’s now on death row awaiting his execution—just days away.

Is there a copycat killer on the loose or is an innocent man about to die for the crime? Facing pressure from her mother not to destroy her late father’s reputation, Sharyn looks into both murders. Soon she has proof that the real killer was never caught. Now she must race against the clock to stop an execution and catch a killer, before more innocent blood is spilled.





Sunday, June 12, 2016

Thursday, June 09, 2016

Skywatch Friday 151









Sunset, evening of June 5, 2016




LINKING TO: Skywatch Friday





Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Wordless Wednesday 220: Holly Blossoms







LINKING TO:

Wordless Wednesday





Teaser Tuesday 315: Murder on the Rocks

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by Jenn of Books and a Beat. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

* Grab your current book or recent read.
* Share a few "teaser" sentences from somewhere in the book.
* BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (Make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away. You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
* Share the title and author so that other participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teaser!



This week’s teaser comes from Murder on the Rocks by Allyson K. Abbott, who was the May Cozy Featured Author. This book is set in a Milwaukee bar, and was pretty good, though I knew whodunit as soon as I met him/her.


Stumbling upon a dead body before I’ve finished my first cup of coffee is not my idea of a great way to start the day. Not that anyone would think it was, but the discovery was more complicated for me than it would be for most people.

(Opening paragraph)









ABOUT THE BOOK:
Series: Mack’s Bar #1

Mack’s Bar is one of those nice, friendly places where everybody knows your name. That’s great when someone’s buying you a round, but not so hot when you find yourself atop a list of murder suspects—with your fingerprints on the bloody knife!

Mackenzie “Mack” Dalton is a Milwaukee bar owner with a nose for trouble—literally. A neurological glitch has left her with extra perceptive senses. So when she stumbles upon a dead body in the alley behind the bar—the same spot where her own father was shot eight months earlier—she can tell right away there’s something fishy in the air. The lead detective thinks there’s a link between the two deaths, and he’ll need Mack’s help to sniff out the murderer amid the crowd of eccentric regulars. But when all the evidence points to her as the most likely culprit, it could be an early last call for Mack—and celebratory cocktails for a killer.





Sunday, June 05, 2016

A Walk in the Woods

One of the main trails at Grady Tract, UW Arboretum


Dames Rocket bordered some of the paths


There is a lot of it in some areas of the woods


Deer, knee-deep in Lupine, of which there is a ton


A main trial bordered by Lupine





Thursday, June 02, 2016

Skywatch Friday 150

Red-Tailed Hawk sighting at the Arboretum . . .










LINKING TO: Skywatch Friday




Wednesday, June 01, 2016

Thursday Thirteen 418: Recently Read

Below are featured the last thirteen books completed this year. As always, click on any cover for more info.














ABOUT THE BOOKS:


ROW 1
: As you can see, I’ve been reading a lot of cozy mysteries again, including Chance of a Ghost by EJ Copperman, book four of a series. I won a copy of Death at Breakfast through Goodreads, but while it was an okay read, I did not enjoy it as much as hoped. It felt like there were a couple loose threads at the end. Marty Wingate was the April Featured Author in the Cozy Mysteries group, and The Garden Plot was book one in her Potting Shed series. I will likely pick up book two somewhere down the road.

ROW 2: A row of firsts! Irish Stewed is book one in a new series by Kylie Logan (AKA Casey Daniels). Will certainly watch for book two next year! It Takes a Witch is book one of Heather Blake’s “Wishcraft” series — I have more of these in Mount TBR. I picked up Last Dance partly out of nostalgia and as tribute to a writing team lost this past year, Joyce and Jim Lavene. We lost Joyce last October, and husband Jim passed in early May. I plucked this one out of Mount TBR out of all the stockpiled books of theirs as it fit a mini challenge of someone being falsely accused. This is one of their series whose gaps have been hard to fill in. I suspect it may be more difficult than ever to find books of theirs I am missing—at least for a while.

ROW 3: A couple more “first” books here. Allyson K. Abbott was the May Featured Author for the Cozy Mysteries group. This particular book is set in a Milwaukee bar, the first in her Mack’s bar series, and helped mark off another Ultimate Challenge, a book set in your state. Would definitely like to find more in this series! Nightmares Can be Murder was read for a monthly mini challenge, and is the first in a "dream club" series. The Obsession is the latest single title release from Nora Roberts. I managed to knock off the first one hundred pages in one day, after which the stupid day job kept getting in the way of my reading time. It was good, even if the foreshadowing was such that I recognized the murderer as soon as we met him/her.

ROW 4: The Best-Loved Poems of Jackie Kennedy Onasis was a steal of a find at the library’s monthly used book sale. I had encountered roughly half of the poems previously, and discovered a few new favorites. It served as my “book of poetry” for this year’s Ultimate Challenge. The Tenant of Wildfell Hall was the classic group read for April, and one I enjoyed reading. The May classic group read, Return of the Soldier, was one I did not enjoy as much. Both knocked two more items off my 2016 Ultimate list.

ROW 5: Eleanor & Park is a YA bestseller and banned book that I recently picked up cheap as a “daily find” from B&N. Excellent novel! It was worth more than I actually paid for it, and marked off yet another item for the 2016 Ultimate Challenge.


Your turn: What are you reading?




LINKING TO: Thursday Thirteen